Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Paradoxes of Time Travel

In an article in last week's NY Times which, IMO, doesn't belong in the realm of science journalism, Dennis Overbye writes:
While it is a paradox to go back in time and kill your grandfather, physicists agree there is no paradox if you go back in time and save him from being hit by a bus.
Is this really true? I can't see how.

Suppose your (saved) grandfather goes on to sire a child who grows up to be Hitler (or, to the good, FDR). By intervening you have clearly changed history -- Hitler/FDR would not be born if you hadn't intervened, but will be born if you had. How can there be no paradox, in either case?

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I guess because most people live their lives in the middle.